If Silver Could Talk

Silver Ladle from Pine Street

Silver is not very popular these days. Some silver things can hardly be given away. My generation has one foot in the world where silver items were well used and certainly respected and today’s world where silver pieces cannot find a home where they even see the light of day and a little polish.

At least this straddling of worlds provides a little perspective. I know my mother who was definitely not born with a silver spoon in her mouth learned to love silver when she became¬†the grand lady of the house¬†at 347 West Pine St. My dad who I hardly knew loved to have dinner parties. In those days, the first half of the last century, a good party apparently required silver. I wasn’t around but the silver was and if only it could talk. (Read more)

Finally a Backyard

Our Backyard in the North Carolina Foothills

It seems since my childhood that I have spent much of my life searching for a backyard. I have had hayfields and marshes as backyard but until this last move none were close to the one where I played ball with friends when I was in elementary school. I could plow up part of it for a huge garden but I have been there and enjoyed that when I was a lot younger. Read more.

Not the Last Farmer’s Market

Mocksville, NC Farmer’s Market, November 3, 2021

We actually started going to farmer’s markets as a couple when we were living north of Fredericton, New Brunswick. We went to see people and to pick up a few things that we did not grow on our own farm. Even more so than most farmer’s markets, there were homemade items interspersed with farm produce. There were no food items that we really needed but I think we went home with baskets to use with our own garden produce. Still we enjoyed the market especially the people.

Maybe it was because we had dirt under our fingernails and a close connection to producing food but for whatever reason, visiting farmer’s market became a life-long passion. Read More

The First Snow

Our former Roanoke, Virginia home after a good snow in 2009

I have seen a lot of first snows. I have also gone through a lot of years when there was never a first snow. Snow is an unusual thing. How it impacts your life depends a lot on where you live. We have lived in lots of places so our snow memories span everything from flurries to blizzards just as you might imagine.

Back in 1960 when I was in elementary school in Lewisville, North Carolina, I had my first serious experience with snow. In March 1960, it started on my birthday and snowed three straight Wednesdays. We hardly went to school that month. Those storms must have created a powerful pull on me. It took me at least twenty-seven years before I had enough snow to move back from Canada and end my sixteen years north of the border. Read more

Infinite Parental Wisdom

Mother's Trout at Meadows of Dan, Virginia
Mother’s Trout at Meadows of Dan, Virginia

My mother pictured above with our good friend, Mr. Cruz, never knew a lot about fishing, but she was smart enough to trust the experts.

Apparently, today’s parents have grown so smart  that children no longer need schooling by teachers.  Perhaps that is an exaggeration and not completely correct.  The most vocal parents are okay with teachers as long as they teach their students to think exactly like their parents.  The teachers should also do this while not wearing masks and certainly without asking students to be vaccinated or wear masks.

Considering how much time most parents spend on their smartphones where I am pretty sure they are not reading books,  there must be another miraculous way of absorbing knowledge.  I am sure it is not Facebook or Fox News. Based on the precipitous fall in newspaper subscriptions, it is certainly not from reading the daily paper. Read More

Breaking Your Inkjet Cartridge Addiction

Epson ET-3760 with ink tanks

I have used a lot of different printers over the years. Printing needs change over time and old printers eventually stop working or no longer work so well with new computers. Eighteen months ago, I donated my fourteen-year-old HP inkjet AIO printer to a local charity. It was still working but a challenge to use with my newer computers. I bought a new and smaller Canon inkjet AIO printer. In mid-June it dawned on me that if I purchased the ink cartridges that I was going to need for the summer that my ink expenditure would be greater than what I paid for the printer. I decided to get off the inkjet-cartridge-wagon train. Read about the printer that I chose at this link. There is nothing like the potential of saving money to push us to change our habits.

Summer ’21 Update for the Crystal Coast

The beach at the Point on Emerald Isle
The beach at the Point in the town of Emerald Isle, NC

While we have moved from North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, that area of Carteret County that stretches from Swansboro to Beaufort, I continue to pay attention to the area. We lived there for sixteen years and would still be there if we had not wanted to be closer to our grandchildren.

My biggest worry is that the area which is one of the last beach areas with small towns at its heart is developing too fast in mainland Carteret County. While development is slow along the shoreline, across the bridge from Emerald Isle/Bogue Banks, it accelerating just across the bridges from the beaches. It is time to visit before it is gone, but that might be easier said than done this summer. Read my full update here.

Writing Our Own History

A Cathedral of Trees at Rich Park in Mocksville, NC

When I started writing for the web almost seventeen years ago, I had no idea how much I would appreciate my own writing. It turns out that few of us have memories as good as we think they are. Time after time, I will start writing about a subject and remember to look and see what I have already said about the subject. When you combine years of writing with extensive photographs from the same time period, you come up with local history that is often invaluable.

Local history is valuable in running local governments and even HOAs. In fact the governments, especially HOAs, that ignore their own history and precedents often get into the most trouble especially when they try to rewrite history.

Just because something is written down on the web does not mean it is automatically true. However, if it is written by someone with a long history of truthful writing, then you should likely give whatever they are saying consideration. I pay special attention to getting the facts right. I take some measure of pleasure in being right especially when I have been challenged by some who would rewrite history.

If you want to make sure your own story is correct, make sure you take being an author seriously. It takes a lot to build a reputation, but very little to ruin it.

Read more at my article, The Disappearing Narrative of Our Lives.

Our Pandemic Move – Life Lessons – Part 1

Early spring blooms in our neighborhood near Mocksville, North Carolina

Moving is never easy, but moving during a pandemic is a real challenge. However, we did and learned a lot – even some minor things like it makes sense to take paper towels and paper plates with you when you are huddled in the safe zone of your hotel room. Most of all, this move reaffirmed the value of working with a great real estate agent. While technology made the move possible. Our great realtors actually made it happen. Read more at this link.